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NEPAD has bolstered Africa’s development – Dr. Mayaki

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As Africa Day is marked today under the theme “Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development’’, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency), has reminded all Africans of the vital role NEPAD has played in the development of the continent since its inception.

In a statement to commemorate Africa Day which falls today, May 25, 2011, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency, stated; “It must be said that the 2001 formation of NEPAD as the Development Programme of the African Union and its African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has helped to enhance the growth of the continent and its political and corporate governance.”

According to him, since the adoption of NEPAD, the Heads of State and Government have used it as an entry point in their engagements on Africa at the global level and they have also used it as a platform for the coordination of development priorities at the continental level.

Dr. Assane Mayaki disclosed that NEPAD has focused on priority areas and also spearheaded the development of strategic frameworks in areas such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in agriculture, to the Short term Action Plan and Middle-to-Long-Term Strategic Framework in Infrastructure – that are crucial to enhance regional integration and development.

“Critically, NEPAD has also provided us all with the vision, platform and vehicle for domestic and external resource mobilisation for the development of the continent,” he stressed.

In view of this immense contribution from NEPAD, he has called on all Africans to use Africa Day to take stock of the continent’s achievements and “to genuinely re-focus our energies on addressing the challenges that we are faced with as Africans.”

He also urged that the recent uprisings by youth in some parts of the continent should work to remind all to use the Day to critically look at Africa’s past in order to make a better tomorrow for all of its people.

Expressing optimism for the future of Africa, the NEPAD Agency’s CEO said; “The myriad of crises, particularly the escalating oil prices, the high food prices and subsidy distortions in the global market, may make it look like as if things are beyond our control. However, as we celebrate ‘Africa Day’, I would like to call upon all Africans to remember that through NEPAD we have our home – grown frameworks, such as CAADP, which posses practical solutions and corrective policies that can be used to address some of these challenges and bring about genuine socio-economic transformation.”

Re-echoing that NEPAD is at the fore-front of pushing for the appropriate development policies and decisions that have been taken at the continental-level, he said; “now more than ever is the time for us all to live up to the courage of our convictions for a great Africa and a new reality of a vibrant and resilient people – as is espoused by NEPAD.

The Day and the entire week will be used to kick-start a series of year-long events and engagements that are being organised to mark the 10th Anniversary of NEPAD which also falls this year.

In 2010, the relevance of NEPAD took on new impetus when the NEPAD programme was fully integrated into the AU at the 14th AU Assembly. Now, for the first time, an African regional initiative has been institutionalised to establish a development agency within the AU family – the NEPAD Agency, which implements the AU’s NEPAD development agenda.

The NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) as the technical body of the African Union, works closely with the African Union Commission (AUC), regional economic communities, national governments, civil society and the private sector to push for programmes and projects that focus on improving the lives of the African people.

The NEPAD Agency is the leading African development expert, able to mobilise the private sector, heads of state and African people as a force for positive change, building continental prosperity and regional integration.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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